Dear MAC Friends!
I am so thrilled to be writing to you with the wonderful news that we are returning to in-person performances in time to celebrate our 35th anniversary together! We have safety protocols in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which you can read about on our website, atthemac.org. As the pandemic changes, so will our policies and we will keep you updated.
This season is packed with your favorites. Music fans will enjoy everything from electrifying BoDeans, to the legendary Oak Ridge Boys, to The Texas Tenors. Get ready for a Mardi Gras and Zydeco party with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Mardi Gras Mambo. I also look forward to sharing one of the most compelling concerts I’ve seen, in an evening with Tony Award-winning Broadway star, Heather Headley.
We are happy to remain the home of our resident companies Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and New Philharmonic. BTE brings live theater back with Stove Toucher, a one-man show written and performed by Kurt Naebig, and closes the season with Naperville by Mat Smart. New Philharmonic Orchestra and Maestro Muspratt are putting on a blockbuster season starting with a Spooktakular concert filled with themes from your favorite horror cinema classics, followed by American melodies in Dvořák’s New World Symphony featuring the incomparable David Taylor playing one of the most complex violin pieces, culminating in a concert version of West Side Story.
Following the blockbuster Frida Kahlo exhibition this summer, the Cleve Carney Museum of Art will open its season with COD alum and brilliant contemporary artist Tony Fitzpatrick. We will close the MAC season in 2022 by bringing back the beloved free outdoor Lakeside Summer series!
We look forward to seeing you and engaging in thought-provoking, joy-inducing, exciting LIVE entertainment. I look forward to seeing you back at the MAC soon!
Enjoy the show!
The McAninch Arts Center season celebrates the memory of Joan Frank for a lifetime of service, thanks to the support of family and friends.
The first act offers a window into Édith Piaf’s life before she became famous. Imagine that you are on the terrace of a small Parisian café, or on a cobbled square in Montmartre. This is where Piaf spent her earliest years, singing in the streets and depending on the kindness of strangers to toss her their loose change.
A young Piaf enters to the sound of a moody accordion. She sings of her childhood growing up poor, and how she longed to spread her wings and fly away Like a Sparrow. Despite her sad words, there’s a smile on her face, because she is no longer that little girl.
Piaf continues to remember her youth, speaking of how she used to sing for the terraces Between Saint-Ouen and Clignancourt, amongst the gangs of street kids, and the scents of French fries and lilacs.
She speaks of her first lovers, and daydreams of those days of innocence. In You Could Find Her on the Street Pigalle, she relays the story of when cabaret owner Louis Leplee discovered her on the corner in the Pigalle area, in 1935, with her sad pale face. In I Couldn’t Care Less, Piaf throws off the judgement of the upper class, reveling in the freedom of her Sundays walking on the banks of Seine, rejoicing in the glitter of the dance halls at night, and the tenderness of a lover touch. It is Paris she loves with the scent of the chestnut trees, the light in the morning, and the music of its streets. Her love of Paris shifts to love of men with It’s a Guy, a man who loved and left her in tatters and My Legionnaire, an affair with an American army boy that wasn’t meant to last. In full swing, The Party Continues with the crowds, music, and carousels. With Bravo for the Clown! Piaf revels in the world of the circus, of clowns, musical delights, hidden vices, laughter, and The Sounds of the Dance Hall.
The second act recreates some of the legendary performances Piaf gave after she had become a renowned artist performing on the world’s most renowned stages. Imagine sitting in the famous Olympia Theatre in Paris, or at Carnegie Hall in 1957, when she gave one of her last memorable concerts.
Édith Piaf’s tumultuous relationship with love continues with the uplifting energy of You’re My Carousel, the dark betrayal of Jezebel, the sad goodbye of Autumn Leaves. The memories of those lost love affairs haunt Piaf, beating like a wooden heart, Padam...Padam.
Not a woman to dwell in sadness, Piaf is caught up in the passion of The Crowd, engulfed, buoyed, and carried away by a love as powerful and crazed as a rollicking mob. In a different tone, her Hymn to Love bares her soul as she surrenders herself entirely to her passion, promising to give up everything-country, home, friends - as long as it would keep love at her side. In My God, she even begs the heavens to keep her love at her side, just for one more day. With the world in her thrall, Piaf embarks on the delicate and beautiful sentiment of her beloved La Vie en Rose. “Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose."
NATHALIE LERMITTE. Singing is certainly a true vocation for Lermitte. Indeed, at the age of six, she started performing.
The day she turned18 was also the day she released her first album Tu es tout ce que j'aime, two singles of which sold over 400,000 copies. In 1995, she opened for Michel Leeb at the Olympia with Herbert Léonard.
At the same time, Lermitte also recorded numerous theme songs for television series and cartoons. 1989 marked her first steps in musical comedy: she was hired to play the role of Cristal in Starmania, which she performed for three years at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris and then on a national tour, ending in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. This was followed by a succession of roles in musicals in which she often played the role of Édith Piaf.
At the same time, she was a music columnist in the programme Chabada every Sunday at 5pm on France 3 from 2009 to 2012.
Since February 2015, she has been playing the role of the Queen in the play La petite fille aux allumettes, nominated for a Molière Award and directed by David Rozen.
In 2017, she joined Piaf! The Show and has enjoyed worldwide success
GILIARD LOPES. Born in 1983 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Lopes was introduced to music early on through the sounds of Brazilian folklore. Since 2001 in Europe, Lopes studied jazz double bass at the famous Guildhall School of Music in London, then at the Jazz Institute in Berlin, where he obtained a Master's degree in arrangement and composition. Lopes has performed on international stages and festivals such as: London Jazz Festival, Jazz at the Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall, Seoul International Jazz Festival and has shared stages with artists such as Marcos Valle, Gregory Generet, Chico Chagas, Judy Jackson, John Crawford Quintet, among others.
BENOÎT PIERRON is originally from Nice. He started with the piano at the age of seven, then became interested in drums at the age of 13. In 1994, he joined the classical percussion class with Jacques Carré at the Conservatory of Nice, where he obtained a first prize in 1998. In 1999, he studied the jazz drums with JP Cecarrelli, the zarb with Z. Miramdolbagi and the tablas for five years with Nihar Mehta and Puran Maharaj.
Since the age of 18, he joined as an additional musician at the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, the PACA Regional Orchestra, the Orchester de Marseille and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2000, he joined the World Youth Orchestra, led by Y. Kreizberg and toured for peace in Eastern Europe.
From September 2005 to July 2006, he was engaged as soloist of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2001 to 2004, he taught at the school of music of the Broc and from 2002 to 2005, at the conservatory of Roquebrune Cap Martin. Since 2012, he has played solo keyboards in addition to the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Since October 2016, he has been part of Piaf! the Show as a drummer/percussionist. He has also participated in recordings with a wide variety of styles: The Children of Invention (2000), Archive (2009), Vladimir Bozar 'N' Ze Sheraf Orkestär (2009), FormatA4 (2010), PyKaBoom.
FRÉDÉRIC VIALE is 44 years old. At the age of eight, he was introduced to the world of music by Mr. Lucien Galliano (father of Richard Galliano). He studied the repertoires of Murena, Viseur, Colombo and Baselli and participated in national and international competitions. As a teenager, he discovered jazz thanks to Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. It was at this time that he also fell in love with the bandoneon, which he played in various groups. Viale’s taste for harmony, rhythm, improvisation and composition naturally led him to record his first album Paradise with his fellow musicians.
Composer and arranger, Viale plays his accordion to the rhythms of jazz, tango or Brazilian music on national and international stages. Viale plays his own compositions, alone or with his trio. In 2015, Pigini, the internationally renowned Italian manufacturer, offered Viale a custom-made instrument: the "new Cassotto FV". Generous and subtle sound, a fabulous gift for a jazzman.
PHILIPPE VILLA. Born January 28, 1963 in Nice, Villa started in 1971 learning music by studying piano and music theory at the Nice Conservatory. Hardworking and passionate, he was awarded first prize in Piano Jazz in 1989. He accompanied renowned artists such as Shirley Bassey, Gloria Gaynor, and played at the Casino de Paris and the Olympia for five years along side Gilbert Montagne, for whom he wrote the arrangements for his live album. Passionate about jazz, improvisation and composition, he performed with the Philippe Villa Trio in many concerts and festivals.
GIL MARSALLA has been studying music since the age of 14 and had a rewarding career as a musician, music director, conductor and artistic director. He has been successfully producing musical and theatrical shows and large-scale events for the past 20 years, most recently with his own production company, Directo Productions, which he founded in 2001 with the goal of supporting and presenting emerging French artists. Since 2007, he has been touring his productions worldwide and successfully presented his shows to sold-out houses in North & South America, Europe, Japan, China, and many other international locations on four continents.
A worldwide French music post war success.
There has been a distinctive French "cabaret" style since end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, exemplified by such famous places as the Moulin Rouge, the Lido, etc. It’s an aspect of French culture which is world famous, but until recently, if you wanted to experience it fully, you had to come to Paris!
In 2009, while travelling a lot, Marsalla sensed a real hunger from audiences all over the world to hear the classic French songs of the 20th Century, songs made famous by great artists like Édith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Gilbert Becaud, Yves Montand... So, he decided to produce French cabaret shows and tour them internationally.
After several years of touring and producing more than 1000 concerts worldwide, Marsalla is considered as the leading producer of this kind of work, that he has opened up a huge market for this beloved material.
It is an ever-expanding vogue, one which grew each year as he created first Paris! The Show (2014) then Piaf! The Show (2015), Formidable Aznavour (2017), Piaf Symphonic (2018), Douce France (2019), Brel! The Show (2020), Roxane, The Musical (2021), What Now My Love (2022). All these shows will tour worldwide.
Marsalla is very proud to continue and preserve his native country's musical heritage, and to have spearheaded the renewal of French cabaret by bringing it to audiences all over the globe.
McAninch Arts Center acknowledges and gives grateful thanks to those donors who have contributed in support of the MAC mission and vision. This list of donors reflects contributions made from July 1, 2020 - Jan. 28, 2022. While we carefully prepared this list, we recognize that errors may have occurred. Please accept our apology if you are not properly represented on this list and contact the College of DuPage Foundation at (630) 942-2462 so we may correct our records.
* includes Seaton Society